Elbaite Tourmaline
Posted by: Raymond McDougall on 04.03.2021 | Filed under:

Elbaite Tourmaline

Specimen # 200477
Mineral: Elbaite Tourmaline
Location: Little Three Mine, Ramona, San Diego Co., California, USA
Size: 3.8 x 3.7 x 3.5 cm


This is a superb deep green tourmaline crystal from the Little Three Mine. The green colour is zoned, with the lightest and most translucent zone at the termination, and darker zones lower within the crystal. The crystal is sharp with beautiful subtle growth hillocks on the termination – with magnification, you can see trigonal pyramidal forms in the hillocks. The prism faces are lustrous and sharply striated. In exceptional condition. A textbook trigonal elbaite.

About the photos and colour of this specimen, it is a dark crystal in person – definitely green but dark, improved by any light source. The first photo is a good representation in decent light. The second photo shows the upper green zone of maybe 3-4 mm thickness – that zone is very translucent and easily seen if you are looking through the crystal held vertically, with any light behind it (the rest of the crystal is also translucent but needs bright light to show that. The second photo is a bit angled to show three dimensions, and so it makes the top green zone look less translucent and possibly a bit thicker than it is. The third photo shows how truly crisp this crystal is, and highlights its fantastic condition. I would just note that the lustre of the pinacoidal termination is not bright as that photo could suggest – this photo was taken with light behind to highlight the sharpness of the piece and give a sense of how subtle the surface topography is. The first and fourth photos represent the termination most accurately for lustre and appearance.

From the Pete Richards collection, he acquired it from Louis Spaulding on April 12, 1994. A superb quality California elbaite!

About Pete Richards (click here)